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Fortuna reports production of 93,454 gold equivalent ounces for the second quarter of 2023

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Fortuna reports production of 93,454 gold equivalent ounces for the second quarter of 2023

 

 

 

 

 

Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. (TSX: FVI) (NYSE: FSM) reports production results for the second quarter of 2023 from its five operating mines in West Africa and Latin America.

 

Q2 2023 Production highlights

  • The Séguéla Mine poured first gold on May 24 and produced 4,023 ounces during the initial ramp up weeks of the second quarter with first sales planned for July
  • Gold equivalent production of 93,454 ounces1
  • Gold production of 64,348 ounces; 4 percent increase over Q2 2022
  • Silver production of 1,262,561 ounces; 24 percent decrease over Q2 2022
  • Zinc and lead production of 14 million and 10 million pounds; 29 and 34 percent increase over Q2 2022, respectively

 

 

  Gold Production
(oz)
Silver Production
(oz)
Lead Production
(lbs)
Zinc Production
(lbs)
Q2 2023 H1 2023 Q2 2023 H1 2023 Q2 2023 H1 2023 Q2 2023 H1 2023
Lindero Mine 25,456 50,714
Yaramoko Mine 29,002 55,439
Séguéla Mine 4,023 4,023
San Jose Mine 5,778 14,009 957,265 2,260,577
Caylloma Mine 89 255 305,296 588,362 10,207,403 19,715,940 14,036,832 27,088,198
Total 64,348 124,440 1,262,561 2,848,939 10,207,403 19,715,940 14,036,832 27,088,198

 

Gold production of 64,348 ounces included contributions of 25,456 ounces from the Lindero Mine, 29,002 ounces from the Yaramoko Mine, and 4,023 ounces from the Séguéla Mine, our newest flagship mine located in Côte d´Ivoire. The higher year-over-year gold production is primarily due to the start of production at the Séguéla Mine which offset lower gold and silver production from the San Jose Mine, which was impacted by a 15-day illegal union worker blockade (refer to Fortuna news release dated June 5, 2023).

 

Consolidated gold and silver production for the first six months of 2023 totaled 124,440 ounces and 2.8 million ounces, respectively. Fortuna reiterates its 2023 annual production guidance range of 6.3 to 6.9 million ounces of silver and 282 to 320 thousand ounces of gold or between 412,000 and 463,000 gold equivalent ounces, including lead and zinc by-products2 (refer to Fortuna news release dated January 17, 2023).

 

Notes:

  1. Au Eq includes gold, silver, lead and zinc and is calculated using the following metal prices: $1,975/oz Au, $24.10/oz Ag, $0.96/t Pb and $1.23/t Zn or Au:Ag = 1:81.96, Au:Pb = 1:0.93, Au:Zn = 1:0.73
  2. Au Eq includes gold, silver, lead and zinc and is calculated using the following metal prices: $1,700/oz Au, $21/oz Ag, $2,000/t Pb and $3,200/t Zn or Au:Ag = 1:81.00, Au:Pb = 1:0.85, Au:Zn = 1:0.53

 

West Africa Region

 

Séguéla Mine, Côte d’Ivoire: First gold pour at our new flagship mine took place on May 24, 2023

 

  Second quarter 2023 Second quarter 2022
Tonnes milled 109,605  
Average tpd milled 1,611  
Gold grade (g/t) 1.56  
Gold recovery (%) 89.6  
Gold production (oz) 4,023  

Notes:

  1. Au Production includes doré only
  2. First gold pour on May 24, 2023

 

In the second quarter of 2023, mine production at the Antenna pit totaled 383,100 tonnes of mineralized material at a strip ratio of 2.3:1, averaging 2.35 g/t Au and containing an estimated 28,958 ounces of gold. Initial mill feed was sourced from lower grade thin saprolite with the operation changing the feed as mining progressed into higher grade transitional and fresh mineralized material. At the plant, 109,605 tonnes of ore were processed at an average grade of 1.56 g/t  Au producing 4,023 ounces of gold.

 

Grade control infill drill program

 

Prior to the commencement of mining, grade control drilling was undertaken at the Antenna pit. Results from this initial campaign of grade control drilling have been positive in terms of reconciliation against the geological model with an increase in tonnes and gold grade of 2 percent and 13 percent, respectively, for an overall increase in contained gold ounces of 15 percent.

 

Comparative results table for the Antenna grade control drilling:

 

Resource Model (> 0.5 g/t Au) Grade Control Model (> 0.5 g/t Au) Difference in Models
Elevation Tonnes Au Grade
(g/t)
Au Ounces Elevation Tonnes Au Grade
(g/t)
Au
Ounces
Elevation Tonnes
(%)
Au Grade
(%)
Au Ounces
(%)
387.5 64,158 2.54 5,238 387.5 77,344 2.68 6,665 387.5 21 6 27
385.0 80,731 2.60 6,736 385.0 84,722 2.69 7,339 385.0 5 4 9
382.5 91,983 2.65 7,837 382.5 93,897 3.05 9,214 382.5 2 15 18
380.0 99,740 2.67 8,554 380.0 100,305 3.09 9,978 380.0 1 16 17
377.5 94,651 3.07 9,341 377.5 92,663 3.57 10,627 377.5 -2 16 14
375.0 82,228 3.30 8,722 375.0 79,466 3.77 9,640 375.0 -3 14 11
372.5 75,510 3.43 8,315 372.5 73,670 4.11 9,735 372.5 -2 20 17
370.0 71,362 3.52 8,083 370.0 70,622 4.22 9,591 370.0 -1 20 19
367.5 65,031 3.75 7,838 367.5 66,389 4.13 8,824 367.5 2 10 13
365.0 59,172 3.88 7,389 365.0 60,191 4.35 8,408 365.0 2 12 14
Total 784,566 3.09 78,056 Total 799,269 3.50 90,022 Total 2 13 15

Notes:

  1. Material mined from surface to 390 m elevation excluded from comparison due to near surface artisanal mining impacting estimation results

 

Mining

 

Mining of mineralized material commenced in the second quarter with first ore being delivered to the run of mine pad on April 2. Mining began in free dig oxide saprolite with the first blast in transitional material taking place on May 28. Waste mined was used to construct and expand the ROM pad and to commence construction of the next lift of the tailings storage facility. Total movement of waste and ore was 877,143 and 383,100 tonnes, respectively.

 

During the second quarter, site preparation and access road construction to the Ancien pit was undertaken along with initiating the first grade control drilling program for this deposit. The high grade Ancien pit is planned to commence contributing mill feed in the fourth quarter of this year.

 

The mine is operating with a complete fleet consisting of eight 100-ton CAT 777 trucks, four excavators, four production/grade control drill rigs, and ancillary equipment.

 

Antenna pit mining activities

 

Processing

 

The processing plant consists of a single stage crushing circuit with crushed ore being fed to a SAG mill followed by conventional carbon-in-leach and gravity recovery circuits prior to electro winning and smelting of gold doré.

 

First ore was fed to the SAG mill on April 26 with first gold pour occurring ahead of schedule on May 24. After five weeks of successful ramp up activities, process plant throughput has progressively increased to reach nameplate capacity of 154 t/hr at the end of the quarter.

 

Average gold recovery in the initial weeks of the operations´ ramp up phase was 89.6 percent, tracking as per expectations and marginally below design recovery of 94 percent. Management expects the processing plant will achieve design recovery parameters during the third quarter, as mine feed transitions into fresh and transitional ore and the processing plant throughput becomes stable at nameplate capacity.

 

Séguéla Mine gold being poured on July 7, 2023

 

Yaramoko Mine, Burkina Faso: On-track to meet upper end of annual guidance range

 

  Second quarter 2023 Second quarter 2022
Tonnes milled 144,202   138,787  
Average tpd milled 1,546   1,567  
Gold grade (g/t) 6.51   5.42  
Gold recovery (%) 97.9   97.1  
Gold production (oz) 29,002   24,553  

Notes:

  1. Production includes doré only.

 

In the second quarter of 2023, the Yaramoko Mine produced 29,002 ounces of gold at an average head grade of 6.51 g/t Au, an 18 and 20 percent increase, respectively, compared to the comparable period in 2022. Production benefitted from higher grades mined and an increase in milled tonnes. Better than expected grades were sourced from the extension of the deposit beyond the current resource boundary on the western side of the 55 Zone. Production at Yaramoko is expected to be at the upper end of annual guidance range. In light of the recent success encountering extensions of mineralization on the fringes of the resource boundary at Zone 55, the Company expects to provide a Mineral Reserve and Mineral Resource update before year end.

 

Access to the underground mine was impacted for 27 days in April due to a failure of the Armtec tunnelling structure at the mine portal (refer to Q1 2023 MD&A). Throughout this period, processing operations were maintained by milling surface ore stockpiles. Underground mine production resumed on May 1.

 

Gold production for the first six months of 2023 totaled 55,439 ounces.

Latin America Region

 

Lindero Mine, Argentina: On-track to meet annual production guidance

 

  Second quarter 2023 Second quarter 2022
Ore placed on pad (t) 1,503,323   1,502,074  
Gold grade (g/t) 0.62   0.74  
Gold production (oz) 25,456   29,016  

 

Notes:

  1. Lindero production includes doré, gold-in-carbon and gold in copper concentrate.

 

During the second quarter of 2023, mine production was 0.8 million tonnes of mineralized material with a stripping ratio of 2.69:1. The stripping ratio for the second quarter of 2023 is aligned with the operation’s plan for the year of 1.17:1 (refer to Lindero Mine and Arizaro Project technical report with an effective date of December 31, 2022). A total of 1.5 million tonnes was placed on the leach pad containing 29,984 ounces of gold averaging 0.62 g/t Au.

 

Gold production in the quarter was 25,456 ounces, comprised of 24,599 ounces of doré, an estimated 731 ounces of gold contained in fine carbon, and 126 ounces contained in copper concentrate. Gold production for the second quarter of 2023 is 12 percent lower when compared to the second quarter of 2022 mainly due to the lower head grade of mineralized material placed on the leach pad that is aligned with the Mineral Reserves and mining sequence.

 

Gold production for the first six months of 2023 totaled 50,714 ounces.

 

San Jose Mine, Mexico: Production impacted by 15-day illegal blockade

 

  Second quarter 2023 Second quarter 2022
Tonnes milled 194,887   251,945  
Average tpd milled 2,6331   2,831  
Silver grade (g/t) 168   187  
Silver recovery (%) 90.83   91.33  
Silver production (oz) 957,265   1,385,336  
Gold grade (g/t) 1.02   1.13  
Gold recovery (%) 90.24   90.50  
Gold production (oz) 5,778   8,295  

 

Notes:

  1. Excludes 15-day full shutdown of operation

 

The San Jose Mine produced 0.96 million ounces of silver at an average head grade of 168 g/t Ag and 5,778 ounces of gold at an average head grade of 1.02 g/t Au; reflecting a 31 and 30 percent decrease in production when compared to the second quarter 2022. The processing plant milled 194,887 tonnes at an average of 2,633 tonnes per day.

 

The decrease in production is explained by the 15-day full shutdown of operations due to the illegal blockade by the workers’ union. This reduced planned production for the quarter by 47,200 tonnes and impacted mine preparation, delaying access to higher grade stopes planned in the quarter. The Company has adjusted the mine plan to access these stopes in the third quarter and expects to achieve the lower end of annual guidance.

 

Silver and gold production for the first six months of 2023 totaled 2.3 million ounces and 14,009 ounces, respectively.

 

Caylloma Mine, Peru: Strong performance, on-track to meet upper end of annual guidance

 

  Second quarter 2023 Second quarter 2022
Tonnes milled 137,004   135,977  
Average tpd milled 1,539   1,528  
Silver grade (g/t) 84   77  
Silver recovery (%) 82.59   79.43  
Silver production (oz) 305,296   267,559  
Gold grade (g/t) 0.12   0.17  
Gold recovery (%) 16.32   42.52  
Gold production (oz) 89   307  
Lead grade (%) 3.72   3.00  
Lead recovery (%) 90.92   85.04  
Lead production (lbs) 10,207,403   7,636,813  
Zinc grade (%) 5.18   4.09  
Zinc recovery (%) 89.67   88.7  
Zinc production (lbs) 14,036,832   10,886,426  

 

Notes:

  1. Metallurgical recovery for silver is calculated based on silver content in lead concentrate.

 

The Caylloma Mine produced 305,296 ounces of silver at an average head grade of 84 g/t Ag in the second quarter of 2023, a 14 percent increase from the comparable period in 2022. Production has benefitted from higher grade stopes at the lower levels of the Animas vein. Silver production for the first six months totaled 0.59 million ounces.

 

Zinc and lead production was 14.0 and 10.2 million pounds at an average head grade of 5.18 % and 3.72 %, respectively; a 29 and 34 percent increase in production from the comparable period in 2022. Increased production is the result of higher head grades sourced from lower levels at the Animas vein.

Zinc and lead production for the first six months totaled 27.1 million pounds and 19.7 million pounds, respectively.

 

Qualified Person

 

Eric Chapman, Senior Vice President of Technical Services of Fortuna, is a Professional Geoscientist registered with Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia (Registration Number 36328) and a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101- Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects. Mr. Chapman has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information contained in this news release and has verified the underlying data.

 

About Fortuna Silver Mines Inc.

 

Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. is a Canadian precious metals mining company with five operating mines in Argentina, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mexico, and Peru. Sustainability is integral to all our operations and relationships. We produce gold and silver and generate shared value over the long-term for our stakeholders through efficient production, environmental protection, and social responsibility.

 

Posted July 12, 2023

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